When Weber State University graduate Ana Reyes was in high school, she didn’t think she would be able to attend college. However, Dining For Dollars, a fundraising event sponsored by Sonora Grill in Ogden, changed that for her.
Now in its fourth year, Dining for Dollars will be held Feb. 8 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. The event provides funding for scholarships for first-generation or low-income students. Sonora Grill donates 100 percent of sales that day to benefit Weber State students.
“In high school, I was devastated to learn that I couldn’t go to college because of my immigration status,” Reyes said. “I did not qualify for grants, loans, FAFSA or other financial aid. Nobody gave me an opportunity until Weber State University’s Opportunidad Scholarship. Last spring, I graduated — the first person in my family to do so — with a bachelor’s degree in business multimedia technology.”
Reyes currently works full time as a web designer and communications specialist for Weber State.
“In the restaurant business, I have worked with a lot of first-generation college students, struggling to go to school and support their extended families,” said Steve Ballard, Sonora Grill owner. “It’s so easy for them to quit and give up. I wanted to create this program because education will propel them, and generations to follow, to a better quality of life.”
“Dining for Dollars is in its fourth year,” said Kyle Braithwaite, WSU development director. “The generous support of The Sonora Grill is matched each year by an anonymous donor and is a primary source of scholarship funding for first-generation and low-income students at Weber State University.”
The donor matches funds from Sonora Grill up to $25,000. The restaurant and the donor have contributed $72,000 in the three previous years.
A special scholarship menu will be offered for $12 and includes choice of entree, chips, salsa and a drink. Regular menu items will also be available. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 801-393-1999 or at thesonoragrill.com.
Sonora Grill is located at 2310 S. Kiesel Ave., Ogden.
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